Oscars Week — Technical Awards

When it comes to the Oscars, people tend to focus on the big categories. There's the acting prizes, directing prizes, writing prizes and, of course, Best Picture. But that's only part of the field. There's plenty of technical categories that can bring films Oscar Glory. Here's a few of the bigger ones.

Best Cinematography:
* Arrival
* La La Land
* Lion
* Moonlight
* Silence

About: Four of these films are Best Picture nominees, and that's where the edge lies. The favorite here is "La La Land," which is the likely Best Picture winner. The thinking here is that the Best Picture winner will help carry the down ballot categories. And that's certainly possible. But My favorite here is "Arrival," which was the most technically accomplished film in the Best Picture field. I think it may take this category.

Best Editing:
* La La Land
* Arrival
* Moonlight
* Hacksaw Ridge
* Hell or High Water

About: This is an interesting technical category. In many years, this award flows to the film that wins Best Picture. That's just a trend, though, and not a rule. I think it will hold here, too, and "La La Land" will win this award. But if they decide to break with tradition, I think a dark horse is "Hacksaw Ridge," which was another technically proficient film.

Best Production Design:
* La La Land
* Arrival
* Hail, Ceasar!
* Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
* Passengers

About: Only two Best Picture nominees in this field, and I would expect this to go to one of them. But interestingly, "La La Land" and "Arrival" may be discounted by some because they have a design grounded in the real world. That shouldn't be a discount. The sets and colors in "La La Land" are beautiful, and I think its momentum will carry the day here.

Best Special Effects:
* Deepwater Horizon
* Dr. Strange
* Rogue One
* The Jungle Book
* Kubo and the Two Strings

About: No Best Picture nominees here, which is typical. This is a place where popular commercial films can get some kuddos. But which one? "Rogue One" was a fascinating film, but I'm not sure it's a strong contender, here. "Kubo" and "Deepwater Horizon," too, feel like long shots. I think a favorite here might be "The Jungle Book," which was a surprise commercial hit and a film many loved. Personally, I'm leaning toward "Dr. Strange," which featured some beautiful and fascinating special effects.


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